Glutes Thighs and Legs

The Routine

Exercise Repetitions Sets
Squats See Rep Ranges 1-3
Static Dumbbell Lunges See Rep Ranges 1-3
Hyper-Extensions See Rep Ranges 1-3
Leg-Curls See Rep Ranges 1-2
Cable Hip Abductions See Rep Ranges 1-3
Calf Raises See Rep Ranges 1-3

*Before beginning any form of physical exercise consult your physician.
*To get the most out of this exercise routine read this article first.
*Take 30-60 seconds rest between each set.
*Your repetition speed should be 3 seconds during the downward phase of the exercise and 2 seconds during the upward phase.­­ Some of the videos below will show the model doing the repetitions at a much faster pace. These videos were accelerated to save data space. The exercises should not be performed that quickly, because it can lead to injury. Please follow the tempo given in this article.

*Beginner trainees should do one set of each exercise every other day
*Intermediate trainees should do 2 sets of each exercise with two days rest between each session.
*Advanced trainees should do 3 sets of each exercise with four days rest between each session

Exercise Descriptions

Muscles Targeted: quadriceps, hamstrings, inner thighs, and gluteus maximus muscles.

  1. Squats can be done with or without weights.  For new trainees, I recommend starting with no weight until you get used to the movement.  It is best to learn this movement from a qualified healthcare professional.  You should be coached on the exercise until you have mastered proper form. 
  2. This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin, first set the bar on a rack set to just below shoulder level.  Step under the bar so that it is resting on the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck).
  3. Hold on to the bar using both hands and lift it off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.
  4. Step away from the rack and position your legs with the heels of your feet shoulder width apart with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up at all times and also maintain a straight back. This will be your starting position.
  5. Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending at the knees and hips as you maintain a straight posture with your head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees or the top of your thighs are parallel with the floor. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Note: Your knees should point in the same direction as your toes.  Your knees should not pass beyond your toes. 
  6. Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing into the floor with the heels of your feet as you return to the starting position. (Your knees should not lock.  Keep them slightly bent).
  7. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Tip:  To keep most of the tension on your thighs and buttocks and off of your knees, bear most of the weight on your heels throughout the exercise.  To engage more of the inner thigh and gluteus maximus, point your toes outward 45 degrees or more.  You can also do this exercise using dumbbells or elastic tubing instead of a barbell.

Proper form requires adequate flexibility of your hamstrings, hip flexors, and calves.  If you are having trouble maintaining your form it can be due to flexibility.  Please consult a chiropractor or certified personal trainer if you are not sure that you are performing this exercise correctly.  There are stretching techniques that can increase your flexibility rapidly.

Caution: If you have back issues, consult your chiropractor before attempting this exercise.  If you have a healthy back, ensure perfect form and never slouch or round your back as this can cause back injury. Be cautious as well with the weight used; in case of doubt, use less weight rather than more. The squat is a very safe exercise that is beneficial to your hips, knees, and low back, but only if performed properly.





Static Dumbbell Lunges: 
Muscles Targeted: quadriceps, hamstrings, inner thighs, and gluteus maximus muscles. 
I include lunges, because they do a great job of targeting the outer sweep of the thighs.

  1. Stand with your torso upright holding two dumbbells in your hands by your sides.
  2. Step forward with your right leg so that it is approximately two feet in front of your left foot.  This will be your starting position. Lower your body into a squatting position by bending at the knees, while keeping your torso upright and maintaining balance.  Continue to lower until your rear knee is 1" off of the floor.   Inhale as you go down. Note: Do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, as this will put undue stress on the knee joint. At the bottom of this movement, your forward knee and rear knee should be flexed at 90 degrees.  If your rear knee is less than 90 degrees then your stance is too narrow.
  3. Push up and go back to the starting position as you exhale.
  4. Repeat the movement for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform with the left leg.

TIP: To engage more of the hamstrings and buttocks press up using mostly the heel of your
forward foot. To involve more of the quadriceps press up using mostly the ball of your rear foot.

Lunges can be performed with dumbbells as described above, elastic tubing, or with a barbell on the back.

Click here for a video demonstration of Dumbbell Lunges from

Cable Hip Abduction:
Muscles Targeted: Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus. Theses muscles are located at the sides of your buttocks.

  1. Stand next to a wall.  Keeping your toes pointing forward, lift your left leg away from your body as high as you can.  Hold for 1 second at the top of the movement.
  2. Slowly lower your leg back to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

TIP: if you are not using a cable then only lower your leg half way. This keeps constant tension on the muscles and minimizes the use momentum to lift your leg. If you do not have access to a cable machine then you can place a dumbbell just above your knee using your hand to keep it stable.

Please watch this video for proper form.

Lying Leg Curl: 
Muscles targeted: Hamstrings 

  1. Lie face down on the leg curl machine with the leg pad on the back of your legs (about 3-4 inches above your heels).
  2. Keeping the torso flat on the bench, ensure your legs are extended and grab the side handles of the machine. Position your toes so that they are pointing straight. This will be your starting position.
  3. As you exhale, curl your legs up as far as possible without lifting the upper legs from the pad. Once you hit the fully contracted position, hold it for a second.
  4. As you inhale, return your legs back to the initial position.

Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

TIP: Pointing your toes inward focuses on the inner hamstrings.  Pointing your toes outward focuses on the outer hamstrings.  Finally, you can use just use one leg at a time for better isolation.





Calf Raises: 
Muscles targeted: Gastrocnemius & Soleus

Calf raises are well described in this video:

If you are exercising at home, these can be done on a stair case.